Quick Reads

The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 1 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Ordinarily in this space, we would go into great detail about the Tampa Bay-New Orleans fireworks show that highlighted Week 1 -- all the passes, catches, yards, and touchdowns; every run for every first down; each individual's fantasy production and numerical profile. And to some extent, we will. But as exciting as Drew Brees was, and as surprising as Ryan Fitzpatrick was, neither came as close to making history as a rookie special teamer whose squad didn't even win.

Besides, we just covered our list of historical passing shootouts in Week 5 last year. Where does the Fitzpatrick-Brees showdown fall on that list?

  • Right now, Fitzpatrick has 317 DYAR for that game, and Brees has 298. That's a combined total of 615 that would blow the record of 545 set by Peyton Manning and Tony Romo in Week 5 of 2013. I say "right now" because these numbers are unadjusted -- they can and will change as leaguewide baselines and (more importantly) opponent adjustments fluctuate throughout the season. If the Bucs and Saints get their defenses turned around and post a few shutouts, the numbers for Fitzpatrick and Brees will go up; if they keep giving up 40 points a week, the numbers for Fitzpatrick and Brees will go down.
  • If things do work out right, this could be the first game on record with two quarterbacks who each topped 300 DYAR. In fact, we have measured only five 300-DYAR games in the regular season. The last was by Tom Brady in Week 2 last year against … New Orleans. The others: Randall Cunningham with Minnesota against Green Bay in Week 5, 1998; Trent Green with Kansas City against Miami in Week 4 of 2002; also in 2002, Marc Bulger with St. Louis against the Chargers in Week 10; and Ben Roethlisberger with Pittsburgh against Indianapolis in Week 8 of 2014. Roethlisberger also had a 299-DYAR day against Green Bay in 2009, just missing out on being the only quarterback to hit 300 DYAR twice.
  • This was just the second game in NFL history with 800-plus passing yards, and no interceptions. The first was a 34-31 overtime win for New Orleans against Dallas in Week 16 of 2012. (Hey, it's another appearance for Drew Brees, the patron Saint of football games where both quarterbacks put up amazing numbers!)

That's enough about quarterbacks. Let's talk about punters! Or, more accurately, one specific punter.

Michael Dickson grew up in Sydney, Australia, playing soccer and Aussie rules football. At 19 he started training for American football. He ended up playing for the Texas Longhorns, and he dominated, twice leading the Big 12 in punting average. As a junior, Dickson was a consensus All-American winning the Ray Guy award as the nation's top punter. He was the MVP of Texas' 33-16 win over Missouri in the Texas Bowl. He averaged 41.1 yards per kick that day, which was actually his worst average of the year. However, ten of his 11 punts left Missouri pinned inside their own 15, and four times inside their five. The Tigers weren't able to return even one of them.

Dickson skipped his senior season to declare for the NFL draft, which turned out to be a wise move -- Seattle actually traded up to select him in the fifth round. Even in preseason Dickson looked like one of best punters in the league, doing things nobody else could do. In Minnesota, he had two punts last night that went 55-plus yards and pinned the opponent inside the 5. Nobody did that in one NFL game in all of 2017. There were only 25 punts like that in the entire season; no one player had more than three.

On Sunday, Dickson made regular season debut in Denver. He punted six times. The results of those punts:

  • From the Seattle 20, Dickson's punt traveled 60 yards to the Denver 20. Adam Jones returned the punt for 24 yards, but the return was wiped out by penalty and the ball was spotted at the Denver 10.
  • From the Seattle 39, Dickson's punt went 59 yards and was downed at the Denver 2.
  • Dickson's third punt was his worst. From his own 26, his punt only traveled 46 yards, and Jones returned it for 9.
  • From his own 25, Dickson's punt went 69 yards and went out of bounds at the 6.
  • From the Seattle 30, Dickson punted 57 yards and the ball went out of bounds at the 13.
  • Finally, from his own 18, Dickson's punt went 63 yards and was downed at the Denver 19.

On average, then, including penalty yards, Dickson's six punts were kicked from the Seattle 26.3, and left the Broncos stranded at their own 14.5. Officially, he had a gross average of 59.0 yards and a net average of 57.5, with four punts downed inside the 20, allowing only two returns for a total of 9 yards.

How great was Dickson's day? According to The NFL Fact & Record Book, the single-game record for net punting average is 59.5 yards, set by Indianapolis' Rohn Stark against the Houston Oilers in September of 1992. Stark is followed by three players tied at 55.5 yards: Kevin Huber (for Cincinnati against San Diego in 2013), Tress Way (for Washington against the Giants in 2014), and Sam Martin (for Detroit against Indianapolis in 2016). Finally, Marquette King is listed for his 55.0-yard net average while punting for Oakland against the Chargers in 2017.

Putting together a list of the top single-game net averages is tricky. Pro Football Reference lets you search by gross average, but not net. However, net averages for all games since 1991 are listed in the game logs of each player's page at NFL.com. We used PFR to find the 114 times a player averaged at least 55.0 gross yards on at least four punts, then looked up the net averages, when available, at NFL.com. And that gave us this list of the 30 best single-game net averages in the past 27 years:


Best Single-Game Net Punting Averages Since 1991
Name Tm Opp Week Year Result Pnt Yds Avg Lng OOB Dn IN 20 TB FC Ret RetY Net Avg Pts
Rohn Stark IND HOU 2 1992 L 10-20 4 233 58.3 64 0 0 2 0 0 4 -5 59.5 --
Michael Dickson SEA DEN 1 2018 L 24-27 6 354 59.0 69 2 2 4 0 0 2 9 57.5 9.66
Sam Martin DET IND 1 2016 W 39-35 4 235 58.8 63 1 0 2 0 1 2 13 55.5 5.66
Tress Way WAS NYG 4 2014 L 14-45 4 233 58.3 77 0 2 1 0 0 2 11 55.5 6.48
Kevin Huber CIN SDG 13 2013 W 17-10 4 222 55.5 75 0 1 2 0 2 1 0 55.5 6.20
Marquette King OAK LAC 6 2017 L 16-17 4 226 56.5 59 0 1 4 0 1 2 6 55.0 5.54
Andy Lee SFO SEA 1 2011 W 33-17 5 298 59.6 64 0 2 1 0 0 3 27 54.2 7.91
Andy Lee SFO NWE 15 2012 W 41-34 5 283 56.6 64 0 0 3 0 0 5 13 54.0 7.71
Brad Nortman JAX CHI 6 2016 W 17-16 5 275 55.0 60 0 1 2 0 1 3 14 52.2 6.94
Matthew Bosher ATL PHI 1 2015 W 26-24 4 231 57.8 62 1 0 3 0 0 3 25 51.5 4.75
Andy Lee SFO STL 17 2011 W 34-27 5 284 56.8 66 1 1 2 1 0 2 7 51.4 6.00
Britton Colquitt DEN CIN 2 2011 W 24-22 6 335 55.8 59 0 0 1 0 1 5 29 51.0 7.09
Todd Sauerbrun CAR WAS 6 2001 L 14-17 6 335 55.8 72 0 2 4 1 1 2 10 50.8 6.67
Mike Scifres SDG MIA 5 2008 L 10-17 6 335 55.8 67 1 0 3 0 1 4 32 50.5 6.69
Johnny Hekker LAR PHI 14 2017 L 35-43 5 282 56.4 64 1 0 3 1 0 3 11 50.2 5.61
Name Tm Opp Week Year Result Pnt Yds Avg Lng OOB Dn IN 20 TB FC Ret RetY Net Avg Pts
Greg Montgomery HOU SDG 3 1993 L 17-18 5 288 57.6 77 1 0 0 1 0 3 19 49.8 --
Brandon Fields MIA NYJ 14 2010 W 10-6 10 564 56.4 69 0 1 1 0 0 9 68 49.6 12.39
Greg Montgomery HOU BUF 17 1992 W 27-3 5 296 59.2 61 0 1 2 1 0 3 29 49.4 --
Pat McAfee IND PHI 2 2014 L 27-30 4 221 55.3 61 0 0 1 0 0 4 25 49.0 4.90
Thomas Morstead NOR TAM 6 2011 L 20-26 4 220 55.0 61 0 0 0 0 1 3 24 49.0 4.85
Shane Lechler OAK DEN 6 2006 L 3-13 4 220 55.0 67 0 3 2 0 0 4 43 48.9 5.82
Sam Koch BAL CHI 6 2017 L 24-27 7 385 55.0 67 0 3 2 0 0 4 43 48.9 6.54
Thomas Morstead NOR WAS 1 2012 L 32-40 5 278 55.6 59 0 1 0 0 0 4 34 48.8 4.52
Darren Bennett SDG KAN 3 2000 L 10-42 6 342 57.0 64 1 0 0 0 0 5 50 48.7 5.27
Sam Martin DET CHI 6 2015 W 37-34 4 221 55.3 60 0 0 0 0 0 4 27 48.5 4.05
Pat McAfee IND GNB 9 2016 W 31-26 4 222 55.5 67 0 0 0 1 2 1 8 48.5 3.66
Craig Hentrich TEN JAX 8 2001 W 28-24 4 230 57.5 63 0 0 2 0 0 4 36 48.5 3.86
Shane Lechler HOU ARI 10 2013 L 24-27 7 412 58.9 65 0 1 2 0 0 6 74 48.3 6.31
Mitch Berger MIN CIN 11 1998 W 24-3 4 223 55.8 66 1 1 2 0 0 2 30 48.3 2.80
Brett Kern TEN SEA 3 2017 W 33-27 6 341 56.8 66 2 0 2 1 0 3 32 48.2 6.91

(If this table seems slanted towards recent seasons, it most definitely is. Punters are booming the ball more now than ever before. There were five games with a 55.0-yard average in the 1960s and just one in the 1970s. They have been a lot more common since then, with eight in the 1980s, 18 in the 1990s, 26 in the 2000s, and 55 and counting in the 2010s.)

Most of these columns should be familiar to Football Outsiders readers, but for clarity's sake:

  • OOB: Punts that went out of bounds.
  • Dn: Punts that were downed in bounds by the coverage team.
  • IN 20: Punts that left opponents pinned inside their own 20-yard line, including return yards but not including penalty yards.
  • TB: Touchbacks.
  • FC: Fair catches.
  • Ret: Punts returned.
  • RetY: Yards allowed by the coverage team on returns.

The final column, "Pts," is PFR's measure of expected points gained or lost on each play. They have it calculated back to 1994. This is a team stat and includes not only punts and returns, but also fumbles forced and recovered by the coverage team. As such it's not a great measure of individual punters. However, it's worth noting that Seattle's punts were worth 9.66 points on Sunday. Of the 93 teams whose punter averaged at least 55.0 gross yards per kick since 1994, only one had a better "Pts" figure than the Seahawks did on Sunday: the 2010 Dolphins, who gained 12.39 points on Brandon Fields' punts against the Jets, in part because Fields punted ten times. (Our own numbers differ from PFR's in that we account for weather/altitude and attempt to separate the performance of the punter from his coverage, but PFR has an easily searchable database of games and we do not.)

If you have been reading carefully, you already realized that in his regular-season debut, Dickson finished with the second-best single-game net average of all time. But even that might be underrating him. The NFL uses four punts as the minimum to qualify for its leaderboards, and the other names at the top of the table each had four punts in their big games. Dickson punted six times against Denver. Given that these net averages were all within a few yards of each other, should we give Dickson extra credit for punting 50 percent more often than the other names at the top of this list?

Further, take a look at the "RetY" column. While Dickson did a tremendous job limiting the Broncos' return opportunities, he couldn't keep up with Stark, who "allowed" negative return yards against the Oilers. If we remove return yards and pretend those punts resulted in fair catches instead, Dickson jumps ahead of Stark, 59.0 to 58.3. Essentially, the only reason Dickson didn't break the NFL's single-game record net average record in his debut is because 26 years ago, somebody named Corey Harris decided it would be a good idea to try running the wrong way.

There are many caveats to keep in mind here. Dickson's big game was partially a result of the thin air in Denver; the Broncos have been the home team for 17 of the NFL's 55-yard punting games, more than twice as many as any other team. (The Colts and their dome and the Rams and their Missouri dome and California sun are tied for second place with seven each.) Dickson also got to kick in September. There have been 43 55-yard games in that month, but only 37 in October, 15 in November, and 12 in December and January. Finally, Dickson only got the chance to show off his big leg because the Seahawks offense couldn't get out of its own way and he spent most of the game kicking from deep in his own end. If the Seahawks had just played well enough to let Dickson kick from midfield, we wouldn't be talking about him right now.

So no, Dickson won't be booting 60-yarders every week. It's not likely that he (or anyone else for that matter) will have another game this good all year. But if you're going to trade up in the draft for a punter, it's hard to imagine getting better results than this.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB
21/28
417
4
0
0
317
303
14
NO
Deep passes are supposed to produce big plays, of course, but they're supposed to be low-percentage, high-risk throws too. Fitzpatrick went 8-of-9 for 286 yards and three touchdowns on deep passes. As a result, he finished with 14.9 yards per attempt. He's the first player to do that on 20 or more passes since Carson Palmer in 2011; he's the first to do it on 28 or more passes since James Harris in NINETEEN SEVENTY-SIX. (Specifically, October 3, 1976. I know most of you had not been born yet, but I celebrated my first birthday exactly one week later.) We don't have play-by-play for that game, but it's likely Harris hit even more deep balls against the Dolphins than Fitzpatrick did against the Saints. He averaged 25.6 yards per completion, even higher than Fitzpatrick's 19.9-yard mark.
2.
Drew Brees NO
37/45
439
3
0
1
298
298
0
TB
Brees set an all-time record with this, his 12th 400-yard, three-touchdown game, breaking the tie he had held with Peyton Manning and Dan Marino. Unfortunately, he is now tied with Marino with five such losses. In this case, Brees could have helped himself with a better performance on third and fourth downs -- he went 5-of-7, but gained only 39 yards and three conversions. He was also sacked once.
3.
Philip Rivers LAC
34/51
424
3
1
1
180
180
0
KC
Rivers was nearly perfect in the red zone, going 3-of-4 for 37 yards and three touchdowns. Only Joe Flacco had more red zone DYAR, and it took him ten passes to do it. Rivers threw no passes with the lead and only one with the score tied; otherwise, he was always trailing by anywhere from five to 18 points. Up the middle, he went 11-of-15 for 140 yards and seven first downs.
4.
Joe Flacco BAL
25/34
236
3
0
1
145
143
2
BUF
Flacco was a little erratic early, but once it was clear how incompetent the Bills were, he was like a shark smelling blood in the water. From the point the Ravens went up 20-0, he completed each of the 11 passes he threw, gaining 104 yards and five first downs (including two touchdowns) in the process.
5.
Patrick Mahomes KC
15/27
256
4
0
1
141
137
4
LAC
If there was a hole in Mahomes' game against the Chargers, it came on throws to his right, where he went 2-of-8 for 38 yards and only one first down.
6.
Jared Goff LAR
18/33
233
2
0
1
136
136
0
OAK
7.
Kirk Cousins MIN
20/36
244
2
0
3
121
118
3
SF
Cousins was fourth in DYAR through three quarters this week, but ninth from the bottom in the fourth quarter. His 11-yard touchdown to Kyle Rudolph put the Vikings up 24-6 late in the third quarter, but he threw eight passes after that (one in the third quarter, seven in the fourth), and every one of them was incomplete.
8.
Tom Brady NE
26/39
277
3
1
2
109
107
3
HOU
Throwing to his tight ends (read: Rob Gronkowski), Brady went 7-of-8 for 123 yards and six first downs, including a 21-yard touchdown on third-and-12. A ninth throw resulted in a 14-yard DPI and another first down. Gronk does not make our receivers tables this week because he fumbled on one of his catches, but that doesn't affect Brady's DYAR.
9.
Alex Smith WAS
22/30
255
2
0
3
103
104
-1
ARI
Smith got lots of good plays from running backs Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson and tight end Jordan Reed. Which is good, because throwing to his wide receivers, he went 8-of-13 for 65 yards and only four first downs.
10.
Andy Dalton CIN
21/28
243
2
1
2
103
103
0
IND
With 8 yards or less to go for a first down, Dalton went 9-of-12 for 120 yards and nine of his 13 first downs, though one of those incomplete passes was intercepted.
11.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/30
286
3
0
2
102
100
2
CHI
In the first half, Rodgers was the Nathan Peterman of Wisconsin, going 3-of-7 for 13 yards with two sacks and no first downs. He was better in the third quarter, he went 8-of-10 for 61 yards with five first downs and one intentional grounding penalty. And in the fourth he was, well, the best quarterback in the world, going 9-of-12 for 212 yards and six first downs, including all three of his touchdowns.
12.
Andrew Luck IND
39/53
319
2
1
2
87
82
5
CIN
Luck's splits between first and third down were ridiculous. On first downs, he went 15-of-21 for just 68 yards (no gain of more than 9 yards) with only one first down (a 5-yard touchdown). On third downs, he went 10-of-13 for 118 yards and nine conversions, with one sack.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Sam Darnold NYJ
16/21
198
2
1
2
79
77
3
DET
14.
Cam Newton CAR
17/25
161
0
0
3
52
38
15
DAL
Third-down passing: 2-of-5 for 8 yards, plus two sacks that lost 15 yards. Hey, at least the completions both went for first downs.
15.
Case Keenum DEN
25/39
329
3
3
1
47
47
0
SEA
When the Broncos were losing, Keenum went 13-of-14 for 188 yards and nine first downs, including all three of his touchdowns. When they were tied, he went 4-of-14 for 54 yards with two first downs and an interception; with the lead, he went 8-of-11 for 87 yards and four first downs, but also with a sack and two interceptions. Clearly, the strategy for Denver should be to fall behind early every week and try to stay there until the end.
16.
Blake Bortles JAX
18/33
176
1
1
1
33
19
14
NYG
Bortles' 1-yard touchdown on his last pass of the first half put the Jaguars up 13-3. The game was far from over, but Bortles did little to finish the Giants off. In the second half, he went 6-of-16 for 53 yards and only three first downs.
17.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
20/28
230
2
2
1
26
28
-3
TEN
Tannehill threw seven passes that traveled at least 13 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He completed only two of them -- one to his team (for a 75-yard touchdown), one to the Titans.
18.
Eli Manning NYG
23/37
224
0
1
2
-5
-2
-2
JAX
Manning had three red zone plays, all in the second quarter: a sack, an incompletion, and a completion for a 2-yard loss. He had a lot of success throwing to his right (including DPIs of 15 and 30 yards), but little to his left or up the middle, where he went a combined 16-of-24 for 117 yards (4.9 yards per throw) with only three first downs.
19.
Deshaun Watson HOU
17/34
176
1
1
3
-8
-9
1
NE
Watson did not pick up a first down until the Texans were down by 11 points in the second quarter. Up to that point, he had gone 1-of-6 for 3 yards, plus a sack. Throwing to his right, he went 3-of-10 for 16 yards and no first downs.
20.
Dak Prescott DAL
19/29
170
0
0
6
-13
-15
3
CAR
Prescott didn't throw a single pass in the red zone. On third and fourth downs, he went 4-of-9 for 38 yards, just one conversion, and one sack-fumble.
21.
Josh Allen BUF
6/15
74
0
0
3
-16
-15
0
BAL
All 15 of Allen's passes came with Buffalo trailing by at least 37 points. That's more passes than Tony Romo (12), Carson Palmer (9), Peyton Manning (8), Russell Wilson (6), Kurt Warner (5), Cam Newton (4), Joe Flacco (3), or Tom Brady (zero) have thrown with such a deficit in their entire careers.
22.
Blaine Gabbert TEN
11/22
117
0
1
0
-18
-18
0
MIA
The all-time leader in negative passing DYAR sinks a little bit lower. Gabbert had six passes with 7 yards or less to go for a first down. He converted only one of them, going 1-of-6 for 3 yards with an interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Russell Wilson SEA
19/33
298
3
2
6
-25
-24
-1
DEN
One of Wilson's interceptions came on a desperation heave from his own 14-yard line on the last play of the game and counts as a Hail Mary (meaning, he's not punished for the turnover) in our numbers. He had two fumbles, both of which Seattle was fortunate to recover. His sacks included losses of 13 and 22 yards. There was only sack in all of 2017 that lost 22 yards. The quarterback on that play? Russell Wilson.
24.
Nick Foles PHI
19/34
163
0
1
2
-33
-44
0
ATL
Foles' total DYAR includes 11 receiving DYAR for his one catch for 15 yards. He had no success on deep passes. And when I say no success, I mean "0-for-7 with an interception" levels of no success.
25.
Derek Carr OAK
29/40
303
0
3
1
-34
-27
-8
LAR
26.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
23/35
171
0
0
4
-51
-59
9
GB
First two drives: 8-of-9, 99 yards, four first downs, one sack, plus one rushing touchdown. Rest of game: 15-of-26, 72 yards, four first downs, three sacks, two fumbles.
27.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/41
335
1
3
4
-60
-69
9
CLE
Despite his sacks (which resulted in two lost fumbles) and interceptions, Roethlisberger did have some success against Cleveland, but not up the middle, where he went 2-of-6 for 24 yards with an interception.
28.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
15/33
261
1
3
3
-63
-63
1
MIN
Red zone passing: 3-of-7, 24 yards, no touchdowns, one first down, one sack.
29.
Sam Bradford ARI
20/34
153
0
1
2
-70
-74
4
WAS
Bradford had six passes at or inside the 10. He completed three of them for 6 yards, no touchdowns, no first downs. Only one of those passes was even thrown into the end zone; the others, on average, were 7 yards short.
30.
Marcus Mariota TEN
9/16
103
0
2
0
-75
-82
8
MIA
Mariota had 29 DYAR in the first half -- not great, but in the middle of the pack. He had -111 DYAR in the second half, on only two passes -- both were intercepted. Only Matt Ryan had worse DYAR after halftime this week, and it took Ryan a full two quarters to do it.
31.
Matthew Stafford DET
27/46
286
1
4
0
-86
-89
3
NYJ
32.
Tyrod Taylor CLE
15/39
197
1
1
7
-87
-120
32
PIT
Taylor had some really bad streaks in this game. He was sacked on three straight dropbacks over the second and third quarters, fumbling once. He threw seven incompletions in a row in the fourth quarter. His last six dropbacks resulted in an incompletion, a sack, an 8-yard gain on third-and-11, and three incompletions in a row.
33.
Matt Ryan ATL
22/43
251
0
1
4
-126
-128
3
PHI
Red zone passing: 2-of-10 for 13 yards, no touchdowns, one first down, one interception, one sack.
34.
Nathan Peterman BUF
5/18
24
0
2
3
-165
-160
-4
BAL
This is my eighth year writing Quick Reads. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this. I've seen bigger disasters -- guys with more sacks or fumbles or interceptions. But I don't think I've ever opened the passing file and seen a quarterback with this much playing time who failed to produce even a single first down. Maybe I'm wrong about that. I remember Blaine Gabbert at his worst would routinely go an entire half without a first down. But the better part of three quarters? Not on first-and-5? Or third-and-4? Peterman only had two successful plays: a 10-yard gain on first-and-18 and an 8-yard gain on first-and-10. He only had five completions, and three of them were caught behind the line of scrimmage. Peterman averaged 1.33 yards on his 18 pass attempts. The last quarterback to be so inefficient on so many passes was Tony Graziani in 1997. Graziani was a third-stringer who was only playing because Chris Chandler and Billy Joe Tolliver got hurt. Nathan Peterman was deemed the best available quarterback in Buffalo after a rigorous training camp competition and was leading the offense by design. This is the kind of thing we only see once every 20 years, folks.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Austin Ekeler LAC
5
39
0
5/5
87
1
81
24
57
KC
Ekeler only had five carries against Kansas City, but all five gained at least 6 yards. Ekeler better get more than five carries next week against Buffalo. Four of his catches gained at least 13 yards and a first down.
2.
Chris Thompson WAS
5
65
0
6/7
63
1
79
31
48
ARI
Last year, Thompson set an all-time record for receiving DVOA by running backs with at least 50 targets. So it's not surprising to see him with catches for 23 and 11 yards, plus a 13-yard touchdown. His rushing DVOA, however, was below average last season. This season? Each of his first four carries gained at least 13 yards. Nobody else had four 13-yard runs going into Monday night. (Adrian Peterson had three. It was a long day for that Arizona rush defense.) Thompson only had six 13-yard runs in his 64 carries in 2017.
3.
Alvin Kamara NO
8
29
2
8/13
112
1
74
25
49
TB
Kamara's two rushing touchdowns were both third-down conversions. He had two other first downs, while being hit for no gain or a loss twice. His receptions included gains of 18, 23, and 35 yards. Only one of his targets came behind the line of scrimmage -- he wasn't just a weapon on screens and dumpoffs.
4.
Todd Gurley LAR
20
108
0
3/5
39
1
49
30
19
OAK
5.
Joe Mixon CIN
17
95
1
5/7
54
0
40
32
8
IND
Mixon only ran for four first downs, but they included gains of 13 and 27 yards, plus a third-and-goal touchdown. He was hit for no gain or a loss three times.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Isaiah Crowell NYJ
10
102
2
0/0
0
0
37
37
0
DET
2.
Joe Mixon CIN
17
95
1
5/7
54
0
40
32
8
IND
3.
Chris Thompson WAS
5
65
0
6/7
63
1
79
31
48
ARI
4.
Todd Gurley LAR
20
108
0
3/5
39
1
49
30
19
OAK
5.
Alvin Kamara NO
8
29
2
8/13
112
1
74
25
49
TB


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Alfred Morris SF
12
39
0
0/0
0
0
-32
-32
0
MIN
Morris did have runs of 11 and 14 yards, and also converted a third-and-1. But he was undone by one bad red zone possession: 1-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 4; following a penalty, no gain on first-and-goal from the 1; no gain and a lost fumble on first-and-goal from the 2. He also had a 5-yard loss on first-and-10.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Dalvin Cook MIN
16
40
0
6/7
55
0
-13
-39
26
SF
Cook's first carry was a 2-yard gain on second-and-1. That was his last first down of the day. He was hit for a loss three times. Only one of his carries gained more than 10 yards -- and it ended when Cook fumbled the ball away to San Francisco.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
DeSean Jackson TB
5
5
146
29.2
2
96
NO
Jackson had touchdowns of 58 and 36 yards, and another reception that gained 35 yards on third-and-3. In addition to his five catches, another target led to a 15-yard DPI on third-and-9.
2.
Tyreek Hill KC
7
8
169
24.1
2
86
LAC
Hill's totals include 87 DYAR receiving, -1 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 4 yards. Five of his catches gained 20 yards or more (one of those was caught behind the line of scrimmage), and he also had a 1-yard touchdown. This doesn't even count his 91-yard touchdown on a punt return.
3.
Mike Evans TB
7
7
147
21.0
1
85
NO
Every one of Evans' catches produced a first down. He had three third-down conversions, including a 50-yard touchdown on third-and-6.
4.
Jared Cook OAK
9
12
180
20.0
0
61
LAR
Three weeks ago, we listed Cook in our piece on underrated fantasy players. Of course, we also wrote that "He won't win many games for you, but he'll fill that spot in your starting lineup for the low price of a late-round pick." So maybe we underrated him too.
5.
Brandin Cooks LAR
5
8
87
17.4
0
61
OAK
Cooks' totals include 57 DYAR receiving, 4 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 6 yards.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
David Njoku CLE
3
7
13
4.3
0
-33
PIT
None of Njoku's catches produced first downs. Only one -- an 8-yard gain on first-and-10 -- was a successful play. He failed to convert any of his third-down targets, including a third-and-1.

Comments

94 comments, Last at 14 Sep 2018, 2:09pm

1 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by jinman // Sep 11, 2018 - 7:20am

The time has finally come to ask the most important question of our time:

Has ROBO-PUNTER finally arrived?

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5 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 9:23am

Is ROBO-PUNTER better than QB Eagles, who led the NFL season leader board for longest punt twice?

https://tecmobowlers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/tpc_original_014.png

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2 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Otis Taylor89 // Sep 11, 2018 - 8:19am

I think we have been sleeping on TB as their parts are pretty talented and the sum of them could be the best offense in the league. Plus, weren't they missing a lot of guys this week on defense?

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13 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RickD // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:37am

Nah. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't suddenly become an elite QB. Expect some regression when they play defenses better than the Saints'.

Though I will say this doesn't bode well for Jameis.

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3 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Led // Sep 11, 2018 - 9:13am

Vince: I'm curious what Darnold's pick six was "worth" to open the game. That play counts, of course, but after that he was very solid. He took one bad sack, but otherwise not much to complain about after the INT. I expect him to try more downfield shots, particularly to Anderson, as he gets comfortable.

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4 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 11, 2018 - 9:14am

I feel like I should buy a Peterman jersey. Something that awful should be commemorated.

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6 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 9:24am

You can put it next to your Owen jerseys from the Lions and Browns.

(they wore #16)

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17 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:33am

Took me awhile to figure this one out, needed to see an actual jersey.

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7 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 9:25am

So, can we fire Patricia now?

I mean, literally set him on fire? The Millen Error Lions didn't lose by 31 to the Jest.

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8 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by johonny // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:10am

Can you be on the hot seat after one game? 48 points to the Jets and you're a former d-coordinator. Maybe it really is just Tom Brady that makes these guys look so good :)

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10 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by ChrisLong // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:22am

Well, the defense only gave up 34 of those points and was facing really short fields all night as a result of missed field goals, long punt returns, and other interceptions by Stafford. The Jets average TD-scoring drive was only 55.5 yards long (32, 49, 75, 66). Their two field goal drives featured 2 and 0 first downs respectively. The Lions played like trash but the defense's performance had a lot of mitigating factors.

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26 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:21pm

Matt Patricia was a bad defensive coordinator. I'm not sure why people thought he was going to be a good head coach.

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65 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RobotBoy // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:36pm

How much coordinating did he actually do for the Pats? I can't imagine Belichick was meekly standing to one side as the unit turned into the Keystone Cops. The D last year was talent-poor, largely due to injuries and, yes, some draft busts. Better injury luck alone will improve things dramatically. They won't be the '85 Bears but middle of the pack doesn't seem too much to expect.
Houston's second-half running game breakout seemed, in part, something the Pats accepted by running out extra DBs, keeping a spy on the QB, and using lighter fronts. The Pats wanted to limit big-play possibilities and spend clock. Without that bone-helmet punt muff, it's an easy two TD win. The Pats can get overly cute with things like that for my taste but the results are generally in their favor.

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27 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:25pm

When Papa Jim got fired last December, you warned me (in so many words) to be careful what I wish for, because it was more likely that the Lions would end up with a worse coach than Caldwell, not a better one.

This is me saying you were right, I was wrong.

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30 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:47pm

There's nothing I love more than watching the disaster I predicted come to pass.

Wait scratch that, hate. Nothing I hate more.

We need a {bitter} tag around here.

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43 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:41pm

Depends on the disaster. I'm quite enjoying the Bills this year, for example. But like, say, economic disasters that you predicted are doubly bad because you don't even get the "fun" of being surprised when they happen and all your facebook friends will be mad at you for being right

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66 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RobotBoy // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:47pm

Do you think Belichick performs lobotomies on his assistants before they leave town?
'Matt, it's time for your farewell party. We have everything ready down in the dungeon.'
'In the dungeon, Lord Belichick? But it's so gloomy down there. And all that...screaming.'
'Now Matt, stop being so childish. A few balloons and banners and you wouldn't recognize the place.'
'O...kay. But sir, what's an operating table doing in the middle of the room?'
'Operating table? No, Matt, that's the seat of honor. Now stop wriggling around so I can get these straps on.'
'I'm scared.'
'Drink some of this punch. That way you won't remember how much it hurts. Tom? Rob? Prepare the instruments.'
Frankenstein players lumber over.
'Yes, Master.'
It explains why McDaniels bailed on the Colts. He managed to get a hand free at the last minute and put in the call.'

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68 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:57pm

The only Patriots coordinator I want any part of is Dante Scarnecchia, and he got to the Patriots before Parcells did.

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79 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 12, 2018 - 1:33pm

I think Belichick does way more than most head coaches do, and has way more input on low level stuff than most people realize. I think he micromanages to a ridiculous degree - and is one of the few people who can actually be effective in that way. I think that when looking for coordinators he's looking for people who can effectively do exactly what he's telling them to do.

This works well for the Patriots, but I don't think it creates a skillset in assistants that works well for a head coach. There's just way more responsibility than they're use to, and way less guidance.

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83 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 12, 2018 - 3:34pm

I dunno. Parcells sure appeared to do a lot of micromanaging. I watched him once spend an inordinate amount of time with players who were not especially likely to make the roster, on the topic of catching punts. It always has been odd to me that so many Parcells assistants have had large success, and so few Belichik assistants have had that experience. Makes me think a lot this is random.

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85 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 13, 2018 - 9:59am

I don't really think of that sort of skills training as micromanaging - what I'm talking about is more about control. Parcells was clearly a bit of a heavy hand, but I think that Belichick had way more control of his defenses under Parcells than anyone working for Belichick has had control of anything (except maybe Scarneccia). I think Josh McDaniels calls plays, but I think the general game plan is Belichick - even as far down to what cornerbacks to go after, what sort of routes should be run, etc. I think NE's coordinators have less responsibility and get way more instruction than most teams. I think they get a "Here's the plays, and scheme we're playing, and what to take advantage of - Implement it".

I don't really think it matters who the heir-apparent is (most likely McDaniels) - I think they're going to crash and burn.

(and yes, a lot is probably random - and organizational fit, etc)

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86 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Richie // Sep 13, 2018 - 3:12pm

There's definitely some randomness, because I don't think there's really any way to know if a good coordinator also has the skills to be a good coach. Some of the most important parts of being a good head coach are not part of the job of being a good coordinator.

But I think when one coach has a long list of assistants who were successful coaches (Parcells had Belichick, Coughlin, Payton and Zimmer) and another has a long list of assistants who didn't have success (Belichick's best is probably O'Brien? With Crennel, Groh, Mangini, McDaniels, Saban and Schwartz also getting shots). It seems probable to me that there is something in the way they operate that helps teach others how to become good coaches. Either by explicitly teaching them, or just by example.

Of course, 95% of Belichick's success has been with Tom Brady, so maybe having Brady is the main reason he has been successful. (Though I don't think that's true.)

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31 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:50pm

Head coaching hires are nearly always completely random affairs, and even after the fact you sometimes can't be sure if the hire or fire decision was sound.

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9 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by ryan5581 // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:15am

Neat to see how close these top punters kept those games. With a team punting 4+ times, you'd expect them to not be scoring many points and as a result losing most games. However, they won 50% of these top 30 punting games and finished 11 of the other 15 within one score. Punters do make a difference!

Well done digging into all 114 of those games.

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11 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by andrew // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:33am

I noticed Cousins finishing with a lengthy incompletion streak as well, especially troubling as they went 3 and out 3 straight times (including once in SFO territory just outside of FG range) and then the next drive they only got a first down on 4th down due to a huthut that somehow worked. I know they were in a predictable burn clock mode of run/run/pass, but almost any success on those previous three drives could have ended the game without the need for a late game interception to seal it.

Does the string of 8 include the final throwaway that was used to burn the remaining seconds on the clock instead of risking a kick? (Rodgers ended his game on a similar throwaway, I assume they don't affect DVOA).

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16 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:23am

They really didn't block very well. That is likely going to be a persistent theme this year.

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12 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by andrew // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:36am

If there was a hole in Mahomes' game against the Chargers, it came on throws to his right,"

When I read that my first instinct is to assume there was a competent person in coverage on that side rather than some mental block on the QB. Assuming they stay on the same side which isn't always the case...

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14 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:18am

What the hell happened to Jim Bob and Stafford last night?

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19 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:44am

Atrocious OL play, inept pass blocking and abysmal run blocking. The play calling was not good, too many first down runs for little gain & too many unsuccessful short passes. Also Stafford just made some terrible throws that were not offset by good plays.

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20 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RickD // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:44am

Rumor is that the Jets knew their play calls and were shouting out the plays before the snap.

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24 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:00pm

Teams came to the realization after five years that the offense consists of "Stafford tries to make something from nothing".

The Lions are an interesting test of the theory that an NFL offense should not run the ball, ever. Because, boy, the Lions can't run the ball.

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28 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:30pm

Stafford is like a more consistent Ryan Fitzpatrick.. His hot streaks are really hot, but his nadirs are really ugly. Once he stopped trusting his O-line, he started bailing from clean pockets, spraying the ball everywhere, and let his mechanics go all to hell.

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15 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Cythammer // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:22am

Rodgers only ranked 11th for the week. That ranking might go up significantly later on in the season if the Bears prove to have a strong defense, but it's still enough to poke a hole in the idea that that was one of his best ever performances.

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18 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RickD // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:43am

I don't think anybody is arguing that he was great for the entire game. The first half was unimpressive. What's impressive is coming back with a knee injury, somehow avoiding Khalil Mack, and leading a major comeback.

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21 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by serutan // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:47am

This. The best comp I can think of for this is Tiger Woods at the 2008 US Open, where he played the last round on one leg.
Willis Reed also comes to mind, but he didn't actually play much - the impact of that was almost entirely psychological.

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22 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Scott P. // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:47am

Plus 'one of the best ever performances' is taking into account the 'playing on a shredded knee' difficulty setting.

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23 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by coboney // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:56am

The idea of it being a great performance there isn't so much the stats but situation - I think everyone acknowledges he had a pretty poor first quarter and change. But he came out basically unable to plant in the second half and along with McCarthy shockingly making some adjustments in offense they changed the game completely with the quick throws in the third and opening up more in the fourth. It was a really gutsy performance and one that only someone with his skill on the mental side of things and the pure arm talent to be able to throw 39 yard strikes with little leg drive could do.

So statistically, it basically just falls into a pack of decent Rodgers games. Looking at the situation, health and how it came together is what made it magical and he put on an absolute clinic in the second half - especially the fourth quarter.

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25 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:01pm

The Bears saw Rodgers' "unable to plant" and raised with "unable to tackle".

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45 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by serutan // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:02pm

You win the thread.

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29 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:43pm

Can someone tell me what the hell is going on in Buffalo?

I get that Peterman was atrocious - but that's what Peterman is. His entire history of play looks like this. He's not an NFL quarterback. This is the same guy who threw 5 picks in 14 attempts last year.

Which makes me ask, what were the Bills expecting Sunday? Clearly they don't think Darnold is ready, but what made them think that giving Peterman the bulk of the snaps in camp/etc was a good idea if Peterman playing like he always plays was enough to bench him and put the obviously unready Darnold in?

What the hell is wrong with talent evaluation in Buffalo that they keep thinking Peterman is the best QB on the roster, when he clearly shouldn't be on ANY roster?

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32 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:50pm

All I can come up with is that the Bills are trying to conduct a 76ers-style teardown, but deny doing it as they do it.

This would also explain why they kept trying to bench Taylor until Peterman stunk up the place so profoundly that they couldn't plausibly do so. They didn't want to actually make the playoffs, because that would hurt their draft profile.

I think that theory is idiotic, but it's less idiotic than thinking they are actually trying to win.

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35 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:56pm

In a sport with 22 starters, not counting special teams, purposely trying to lose games is a really bad idea.

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49 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:19pm

Well, yeah.

But we're not smart enough to own or manage a professional sports team.

Apparently.

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70 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by serutan // Sep 11, 2018 - 8:56pm

There is ample evidence that "bad idea" and "NFL Front Office" are not mutually exclusive concepts.

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33 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by deus01 // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:51pm

You mean Allen and not Darnold.

As for what the Bills are thinking, I don't think anyone knows. There's no way they could have not know that Peterman should not be the starter. Before the season one could have made the case that they wanted to avoid ruining Allen and needed to throw someone else to the wolves but they could have at least got someone competent since they ended up throwing Allen out there anyway.

But hey, at least the quarterback is white, which is apparently their requirement.

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38 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:12pm

Right - I can see the argument for not wanting to put Allen in a situation he's not ready for - but if that's the case - you have to ride Peterman no matter what happens. I just can't think of any reasonable explanation other than "they're reacting and have no plan"

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42 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by sbond101 // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:33pm

I thought the basic theory here is that they have a terrible O-line (since they traded away Glenn, & lost there other two best linemen to retirement) and the right move is to prevent Allen from being sacked 30+ times this year to protect the asset. What I don't understand is then putting Allen in in garbage time just to expose him to getting hurt.

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44 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by deus01 // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:02pm

It's not surprising that a team who thought Peterman would be a suitable starter would also quickly abandon that plan and throw their plans for the QB who's still under development out the window because they need to do something.

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63 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by mehllageman56 // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:04pm

While it seems obvious now that Peterman is not a viable starter, he did outplay both AJ McCarron and Josh Allen during the preseason. The real issue in Buffalo is that offensive line will get just about any quarterback killed. Personally, I'm worried about Darnold behind the Jets' line, and that' nowhere near the Bill's scenario. To quote a B/R article, if Josh Allen starts he will be dead by October.

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34 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 12:53pm

Just complete disorganization, resulting in randomized decisions without relationship to empirical observation?

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39 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Cogitus // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:14pm

My theory is when it comes to evaluating talent, the Bills brass of Beane and McDermott put emphasis on intangible fuzzy concepts like "leadership" and "grittiness" before actual production. That's why they put Peterman out there, not because he's good--(I'm not sure they know how to differentiate between who is good and bad based on on-field execution), but because he has "character", "work ethic", etc, etc instead actually understanding how to evaluate talent. That's why you get laughable, horrid signings like Star Lotululei, Trent Murphy, Vontae Davis, Chris Ivory, etc, and why they trade or let go of young, improving or even proven talent like Watkins, Goodwin, Cordy Glenn, EJ Gaines, Darby---all of whom who struggled occasionally with injuries and I guess didn't have a blue-collar, "lunchpail" attitude in their eyes--and replace them with s***ty veterans. They also couldn't fill all the holes they made in the draft, as they traded a bunch of the capital they got for those players for--SIGH--Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, who essentially in their view are white Cam Newton and black Luke Kuechly, two building blocks for the Panthers East fantasy erotica replication they have been striving for.

The Panther's nepotism is pathological, as it seems like that's the only team they know how to emulate or even bring other players in from in FA, and they're not even importing competent Panther castoffs. Benjamin was horrid yesterday, Lotululei nowhere to be seen for 50 million dollars, don't even get me started on Mike Tolbert and Leonard Johnson last year. They're basically trying to rebuild and be the Panthers, but doing it an illogical, inefficient, and occasionally contradictory way because they happen to be total idiots. There is a plan there, just an extremely bad and stupid one, coupled with a dinosauric way of understanding what's important to win NFL games in the modern era.

Actually, it's kind of a fun ride as a Bills fan. No middling or almost-there teams that frustrate and give you a modicum of hope, and instead just pure incompetence. It sucks because we are set back 3-4 more years, unless Allen pulls off a miracle and is somehow excellent, and we probably have to watch them do more moronic things next offseason, but it's easier to detach and just laugh at the state of the franchise when you know they have no chance. This must be what NFL nihilism feels like.

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46 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:05pm

Mike Tolbert (and probably at least some of the others) appears to have been signed specifically because he's one of McDermott's weightlifting buddies. I wish I was making that up.

But I think your conclusions are probably right. They don't want any "me-first distractions" like Le'Veon Bell or Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald. They've already got one me-first guy, and that's McDermott.

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48 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by deus01 // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:10pm

It's kind of shocking to me that so many obviously bad people persist at multiple levels of NFL organizations. You would think that more teams would be interested in actually winning than nepotism but that's obviously not the case.

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51 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:30pm

There's just so much luck involved that it is easy to fall into the nepotism/good 'ol boy network trap. I mean, it is easy to rationalize just hiring your buddy when random luck has so much to do with success, even if you can intellectually grasp that hiring on that basis lessens your odds. Jerry Jones is the dope of all dopes when it comes to owners trying to get games won, but he was damned lucky that one of his friends on his college football team was a terrific coach and talent evaluator. The Wilfs have been the best owners Vikings fans have ever had, in terms of intelligence joined to winning games as a high priority, but that didn't stop their first 10 years as owners as being near the worst 10 consecutive years in franchise history, in terms of on the field performance, and it was mostly just luck.

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52 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:42pm

The purpose of an NFL team is to 1) make money, and 1b) validate management's egos. Frequently, that validation comes in the form of winning, because often the kinds of people working at a sports team value results more than their own personal fame/recognition/whatever it is insecure people think they want.

In conclusion, I think McDermott probably needs to see a therapist, but he seems like the type that would take the very suggestion as an insult.

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60 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Cogitus // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:37pm

I have not heard that before but at this point I'm inclined to believe something that inane about Coach McMuscles and his decision-making process. It would explain a lot why Tolbert was kept around, as on-field production obviously wasn't the reason. Peterman probably is his protein-shake making buddy or action-flim flick companion.

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50 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:23pm

That's why they put Peterman out there, not because he's good--(I'm not sure they know how to differentiate between who is good and bad based on on-field execution), but because he has "character", "work ethic", etc, etc instead actually understanding how to evaluate talent. That's why you get laughable, horrid signings like Star Lotululei, Trent Murphy, Vontae Davis, Chris Ivory, etc, and why they trade or let go of young, improving or even proven talent like Watkins, Goodwin, Cordy Glenn, EJ Gaines, Darby---all of whom who struggled occasionally with injuries and I guess didn't have a blue-collar, "lunchpail" attitude in their eyes--and replace them with s***ty veterans. They also couldn't fill all the holes they made in the draft, as they traded a bunch of the capital they got for those players for--SIGH--Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, who essentially in their view are white Cam Newton and black Luke Kuechly, two building blocks for the Panthers East fantasy erotica replication they have been striving for.

1. Which makes their treatment of Taylor odd, as while people have questioned his passing prowess, I've never heard anyone saw anything bad about his character, work ethic, or preparation, and I've followed him since Virginia Tech. Mayfield was raving about his game prep and accessibility a few weeks ago.
2. Allen and Edmunds were about the only bright spots for the Bills on Sunday. While what was necessary to get them was wasteful, I don't have evidence yet that they themselves are poor players.

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54 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:50pm

The treatment of Taylor wasn't odd at all. The Bills are just really, really bad at spotting character and work ethic when they see it. They may even be using totally different definitions for those words!

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61 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Cogitus // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:52pm

Why did they treat Taylor the way they did? Why they didn't take Mahomes or Watson when they had the chance without wasting any draft capital if the plan was to rebuild? I think, sadly, they are just too stupid to understand how to make use of QBs who are dynamic and outside the "mold" of what a traditional NFL passer is supposed to look like. They probably liked Taylor because of those reasons you mentioned, but couldn't figure out how to use him properly, so they handicapped him, used him a convenient scapegoat for the problems on offense, and went with someone who was more the NFL prototype (in fact, someone who is ALL NFL prototype and not much else).

I would argue with you that there is indeed plenty of evidence Allen is probably going to be a bad pick, but to be fair, he has shown me more than I expected so far. He is pretty much the only hope we have at this point

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62 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Cogitus // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:53pm

Why did they treat Taylor the way they did? Why they didn't take Mahomes or Watson when they had the chance without wasting any draft capital if the plan was to rebuild? I think, sadly, they are just too stupid to understand how to make use of QBs who are dynamic and outside the "mold" of what a traditional NFL passer is supposed to look like. They probably liked Taylor because of those reasons you mentioned, but couldn't figure out how to use him properly, so they handicapped him, used him a convenient scapegoat for the problems on offense, and went with someone who was more the NFL prototype (in fact, someone who is ALL NFL prototype and not much else).

I would argue with you that there is indeed plenty of evidence Allen is probably going to be a bad pick, but to be fair, he has shown me more than I expected so far. He is pretty much the only hope we have at this point

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67 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by RobotBoy // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:53pm

Taylor's ethnicity, of course, had nothing to do with it.

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71 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by sbond101 // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:10pm

I think that comment is kind of uncalled for; McDermott is definitely capable of getting rid of decent white players (Chris Hogan) and replacing them with terrible black receivers (Benjamin). The guy has a strange obsession with the "Carolina model", which doesn't even seem to have worked that well in Carolina in the long term, and the players that come out of it - but I don't see any genuine evidence of racial animus.

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76 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by deus01 // Sep 12, 2018 - 8:46am

It's not that they want an all white team, just a white quarterback. Given their treatment of Taylor and inexplicably benching him for a historically bad white QB doesn't seem like an unreasonable explanation.

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78 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 12, 2018 - 12:30pm

I would have agreed last year - but considering that they still thought Peterman was good enough to give him camp/preseason/etc reps with the starters over Allen, I'm beginning to think that the Bills just have some sort of weird evaluation of Peterman that makes them think he's a potential star.

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90 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 5:09pm

He looks great in practice. He looked great in the preseason. When the snaps count, he loses it - he wouldn't believe his own reads on Sunday.

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91 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 5:11pm

Whaley was the one who let Hogan go, but, yeah, I don't see any racial issues with McD. Just an issue with anyone Whaley drafted. lol

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89 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 5:08pm

I will take your points in chunks:

Why did they treat Taylor the way they did?

The previous regime were just idiots, and got rid of the guy who was great at hiding his deficiencies (Roman). The current regime decided - right or wrong - that he wasn't the guy to get them where they needed to go. That's actually a correct decision, much as I like Tyrod on many levels. They also seem to have the bent of getting rid of anyone who isn't one of "their guys".

Why they didn't take Mahomes or Watson when they had the chance without wasting any draft capital if the plan was to rebuild?

Because that draft still belonged to Whaley. Otherwise, I think they *might* have taken Mahomes. Still, it's hard to argue with what they did get in that draft (White).


I think, sadly, they are just too stupid to understand how to make use of QBs who are dynamic and outside the "mold" of what a traditional NFL passer is supposed to look like. They probably liked Taylor because of those reasons you mentioned, but couldn't figure out how to use him properly, so they handicapped him, used him a convenient scapegoat for the problems on offense, and went with someone who was more the NFL prototype (in fact, someone who is ALL NFL prototype and not much else).

Except both McD and Beane came from Carolina, where the QB is pretty much the entire offense - how does that team even function without Cam at this point? So clearly they have experience in that area. Tyrod just isn't that good - his analytics look good, but he doesn't pass the "eye test" when you watch him in games.

I would argue with you that there is indeed plenty of evidence Allen is probably going to be a bad pick, but to be fair, he has shown me more than I expected so far. He is pretty much the only hope we have at this point

I was very discouraged when they took him. He has developed better than I thought, but I still feel he's Losman 2.0. He did some good things on Sunday, though, and, hey, they can just take another QB at #1 next year!

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94 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Richie // Sep 14, 2018 - 2:09pm

"They also seem to have the bent of getting rid of anyone who isn't one of "their guys". "

That seems to be Gase's plan in Miami as well. Which probably just means Gase gets fired before he can completely cycle through all the players. Then rinse and repeat with the next coach.

ugh

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59 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by gomer_rs // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:35pm

Somebody gave control of an NFL franchise to the guys from 90s SNL that just say "Da' Bears" and "Ditka!"
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

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69 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by doktarr // Sep 11, 2018 - 6:10pm

Just to back this up: Sunday was probably not the worst start of Peterman's career, and he only has 3 starts!

Here is my heuristic result for the worst QB games since Ryan Leaf arrived in the NFL:

http://pfref.com/tiny/3x49H

Peterman already has two of them. Here's my considerably less massaged list of worst QBs to start 3+ games since the passing rules were changed:

http://pfref.com/tiny/iuDaf

So... yeah. He's historically bad.

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74 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:35pm

I'm more amazed that Guido Merkins was a real guy.

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81 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Richie // Sep 12, 2018 - 2:39pm

Just think, Scott Bull had a 0.24 ANY/A across 2 starts and 72 attempts from 1976-1977. Then, San Francisco gave him 5 more starts in 1978. He struggled even more, throwing 1 TD vs. 11 interceptions.

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82 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Richie // Sep 12, 2018 - 2:43pm

Side note, if somebody like Scott Bull happens upon these comments, do you think he is amused to see his name amongst the discussion for worst starters? Heck, he at least was an NFL player for multiple years. That's still a nice accomplishment.

Since it's still going on, I would assume Peterman feels a lot more raw about it.

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84 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by gomer_rs // Sep 12, 2018 - 10:41pm

I was on a Bills message board, and one of the posters noted that Peterman's passer rating is 14 points below what it would be if he had spiked the ball instead of attempting to pass the ball.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

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92 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 5:12pm

It is. 0.0 means you did WORSE than nothing.

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88 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by LionInAZ // Sep 13, 2018 - 4:59pm

Redundant comment.

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36 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 11, 2018 - 1:27pm

I notice FO doesn't use the terms YAR or VOA anymore, even when it results in having to note that 'DYAR is still unadjusted, for now' in the text. It seems like they set out to kill YAR on purpose. Why would you want to do that? Which one of you took the pirate jokes too far?

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37 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:09pm

Trubisky's 2nd half performance makes me fear that he could play poorly enough that my goal, of having Chase Daniel get through 12 seasons with 35 million in earnings, with less than 100 pass attempts , is in danger.

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41 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Steve in WI // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:32pm

Is there any level of poor performance that could justify benching Trubisky, though, given the circumstances? He is by far the most important player on the team for the near future. Pace and Nagy will both be fired if Trubisky fails to develop into at least a serviceable starter. And this is already his second season, so there's not really an argument to made that if he struggles badly enough it means they put him in too early and he needs to learn from the bench this year.

I don't think Daniel takes a single non-garbage-time snap unless Trubisky gets hurt. I certainly hope I'm right.

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47 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:09pm

Well, as Ben Hogan once said about golf, if you aren't mindful about how to get better, you are just working to get worse. That is to say that an athlete can get so mentally disorganized that more reps just fuels more poor outcomes, leading to more mental disorganization, ad nauseum. Is Trubisky close to that? I certainly don't think so, but I think I've seen it in others.

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93 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 5:13pm

Nathan Peterman, for example.

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56 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by BJR // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:26pm

It will likely come down to the good old W-L column. The Bears defense may be good enough that the team could grind out several wins even with Trubisky playing at replacement level, and in that scenario there will be no immediate pressure to replace him. I call that the 'Bortles Trap'. But if they are 1-8 or some such, and he's replacement level, then he might get yanked.

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64 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 5:06pm

Replacement level is historically good in the context of Bears QB play.

It's basically Sid Luckman, Jim McMahon, a glorified RB (Bobby Douglass), and Jay Cutler's cigarette ashes.

If Trubisky is only decent, he basically gets 5th on the franchise list by default.

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75 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Chip // Sep 11, 2018 - 11:07pm

Surprised Jordan Howard didn’t make the top 5 list. 125 all purpose yards, 5.5 YPC and 6-7 FD and at least 3 3rd down conversions. Without JH, Bears don’t come close to scoring 3 pnts, alone 20.

Trubisky didn’t see the field well last night. GB switched to zone DEF after the 1Q and the chains stopped moving. Hard to tell from the broadcast angle, but the cover looked pretty tight. GB spent a first and three second rd picks on the secondary the last two years so it would make sense - will need to watch the all 22.

On the plus side, MT hit 5-6 intermediate stick throws into tight windows and had 2 WR drops. On the bad side, missed 3 wide open dump offs in the 4Q and as well as all 3 deep tosses (30+ yards, but prob should have hit at least one).

Have to keep in mind that he’s had 25 starts since HS and will likely have ups/downs that are largely defense dependent.

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40 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by justanothersteve // Sep 11, 2018 - 2:23pm

I had to share this from PFT's Power Rankings this week. I literally LOL'ed.

3. Packers (1-0; No. 4): One-legged Aaron Rodgers is actually a better thrower of the football than two-legged Aaron Rodgers.

4. Jaguars (1-0; No. 5): No-legged Aaron Rodgers would be a better thrower of the football than two-legged Blake Bortles.

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53 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Richie // Sep 11, 2018 - 3:44pm

Johnny Hekker was not happy that Dickson is threatening his throne, so he went out and boomed 2 punts for a 58.5 gross and net average. Unfortunately, the Rams only gave him the chance to punt twice, so he doesn't qualify for the list.

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55 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:16pm

I want to see Hekker and Dickson punt-fight.

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57 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Tim R // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:29pm

Would be a more interesting all star game than the probowl.

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58 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by BJR // Sep 11, 2018 - 4:30pm

We only need the Rams to fire McVay and re-hire Jeff Fisher and your dream will come true twice a season.

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87 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Sep 13, 2018 - 4:55pm

That first one came close to going for a 65-yard touchback. That's ridiculous.

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72 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Duke // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:25pm

Site note: I love love LOVE the new mobile version...most of the time. But tables are still an issue.

I tried reading this on my phone and gave up. All the tables went off the screen, and only showed like 33%

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77 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by The Ninjalectual // Sep 12, 2018 - 11:53am

I switched to landscape view for those

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73 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by nuclearbdgr // Sep 11, 2018 - 10:33pm

Vince, how does the system handle Rodgers last pass, thrown out of bounds just to waste the last few seconds of the game? Like a spike?

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80 Re: Week 1 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Sep 12, 2018 - 2:20pm

Well done digging into all 114 of those games.

Thank you. Won't lie, had I realized what a time-sink that was going to be, I might have tried something else.

Does the string of 8 include the final throwaway that was used to burn the remaining seconds on the clock instead of risking a kick? (Rodgers ended his game on a similar throwaway, I assume they don't affect DVOA).

For now, yes. We will probably go through and remove those in stat clean-up.

But I think your conclusions are probably right. They don't want any "me-first distractions" like Le'Veon Bell or Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald. They've already got one me-first guy, and that's McDermott.

This is genius. Absolute genius.

Surprised Jordan Howard didn’t make the top 5 list. 125 all purpose yards, 5.5 YPC and 6-7 FD and at least 3 3rd down conversions. Without JH, Bears don’t come close to scoring 3 pnts, alone 20.

15th among RBs. 15 DYAR rushing, 5 DYAR receiving. Only ran for three first downs, and was stuffed for no gain on third-and-1. None of his receptions gained a first down, or more than 7 yards.

Johnny Hekker was not happy that Dickson is threatening his throne, so he went out and boomed 2 punts for a 58.5 gross and net average. Unfortunately, the Rams only gave him the chance to punt twice, so he doesn't qualify for the list.

Close. One return for 10 yards, so a 53.5 net average.

http://www.nfl.com/player/johnnyhekker/2535663/profile

I want to see Hekker and Dickson punt-fight.

They will play each other twice this year, though it remains to be seen if the Seahawks will be able to force a punt.

I notice FO doesn't use the terms YAR or VOA anymore, even when it results in having to note that 'DYAR is still unadjusted, for now' in the text. It seems like they set out to kill YAR on purpose. Why would you want to do that? Which one of you took the pirate jokes too far?

I almost never bother using YAR and pretty much stick to DYAR. So it's just habit to me. YAR isn't going anywhere.

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